With all the emphasis on digital marketing these days, a few tried-and-true methods get forgotten. Postcards are one of them, but they are experiencing a revival as business owners re-discover their powerful charms to deliver results.
Postcards are a simple, low-cost sales tool that’s easier to use than ever thanks to websites that offer turnkey postcard marketing services. These princely printed pieces pack a powerful punch for millions of small and local businesses. Even big companies and major universities are using colorful and often over-sized postcards to push their products, services, offers and brands.
The lowly postcard has taken on new prominence as a kind of “anti-digital” agent. People are paying more attention than ever to postcards they receive in the mail, and are responding to offers at high rates. Postcards have a higher “read rate” than other direct mail because they are easier to read at a glance and there’s no envelope to open.
You can quickly create a postcard campaign without a big investment in time or money. And getting your postcards printed and mailed to either your own mailing list or one you buy is a snap with one of the web-based services. Many companies compete for your business, so rates are highly competitive and you can get your cards printed and mailed in a few days.
1. Plan ahead and create a specific purpose for your postcard campaign – as big an idea as possible to grab people’s attention. Build value into your message and don’t be boring.
2. Postcards should be eye-catching, so be sure to include high-quality photos or other striking images, graphics and colors.
3. Postcards can say a lot – especially the over-sized variety — but try to keep your message simple. It’s still a postcard, after all, not a novel. Pretend that every word you write is costing you an extra $100.
4. Short, bold headlines work best. Avoid jumbled information. Postcards work best for short messages and for generating leads (not closing sales). Don’t try to explain everything, and be sure to include multiple ways to contact you.
5. Postcards are great for carrying timely messages, so think in timely terms. For example, postcards can convey messages or offers with a deadline, or customer reminders (your service contract expires in 30 days!).
6. There are two sides to every postcard, so make the most of them both. The non-address side should have the biggest, boldest photos and colors. Think of it as a poster. The other side should carry your offer, contact information and other details.
7. Think multi-faceted. Postcards can be used for many purposes, including reminders, gift certificates, coupons, new product announcements, openings, discounts and even as tickets.
8. Go for high-quality, full-color, glossy printing. These have the most impact. All postcard marketing services offer this, and improve technology has brought down costs.
9. Oversized cards – often 6×11 – stand out in the mail and are a great choice. They also give you more ways to include photos, coupons and even a map to your location.
10. Encourage quick action. Give customers a good reason to act now, perhaps a fast action bonus with a deadline.
Templates make do-it-yourself postcards possible, but taping the postcard pros online is quick and easy.
Zairmail is a popular service that lets you easily create and send marketing postcards (and other direct mail) right from your computer. Zairmail offers mailing lists as well as postcard templates for specific businesses such as real estate, insurance and others.
VistaPrint, the all-purpose online print ship, offers a wide range of postcards and postcard marketing services. Other good services to consider include PostcardMania, ModernPostcard and PostcardServices.
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